STAR Staff Newsletter

Week of January 19 - 23, 2015 Vol. 19

A Word from Mrs. Erb ~

Thank you for sharing your responses last week about taking the "Leap of Faith"! It was interesting to hear how many of you take those chances! Best of luck to all of you and again, thank you for sharing!

Week 19 At-a-Glance

Monday, 1/19


Tuesday, 1/20

  • Amy @ LRE Training
  • Send your STAR STUDENT Names to Group A
  • Watch Parent Involvement Video (click on link below) during co-curr (ALL Staff members are required to watch it.) Stop by my office to sign off once complete.

Wednesday, 1/21

  • Amy @ Principal Meeting

Thursday, 1/22

  • Author - Vuthy Kuon
  • Stories on Parade 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Friday, 1/23

  • Early Release
  • Afternoon - Teacher Prep & Planning - no designated PD
  • National Reading Day! - see more info below

Coming Up:

- Great Kindness Challenge (last week of January) - watch for more details from Janie


National Reading Day is January 23rd

National Reading Day is an annual event which celebrates and encourages reading by younger children. National Reading Day is celebrated in thousands of schools all around the United States. This literacy event is designed to help Pre-K through Third Grade students develop the literacy foundation they need to become lifelong learners. Schools, libraries, nonprofit groups, and parents participate in a variety of activities with younger readers on National Reading Day. Have your students join in with the hundreds of thousands of other young readers who will celebrate National Reading Day on January 23, 2015.

Suggested Activities for National Reading Day

National Reading Day is a day to celebrate literacy. Please join the millions of young children who will be involved in National Reading Day activities on January 23, 2015. National Reading Day is the perfect time to get young readers excited about enhancing their reading skills. Below is a list of suggested activities for National Reading Day. We hope that this list helps to make your National Reading Day a true celebration of literacy!

Wear Your Favorite Hat

Kids have a great time when they wear a hat that relates to their favorite book. There’s something about wearing a football helmet, pirate hat, or princess tiara that really gets young readers excited about books!

Teacher Swap

Students love to have teachers from other classrooms visit and read books to them.

Staff Reading

Help your students become more enthusiastic about reading when the support personnel they already know (school secretaries, cafeteria staff, maintenance workers, etc.) drop by and read one of the class’s favorite books. This will excite and encourage them to be more enthusiastic about reading.

Student Book Exchange

Students bring in gently used books, and those books are put into a book exchange. The students then take turns selecting books from the book exchange. Students are allowed to pick as many books from the book exchange as they have contributed to it.

Community Heroes

There are many people in your community who might be called “everyday heroes.” Police officers, firefighters, rescue personnel, and other public service workers make excellent guest readers. If possible, have your students read some books about these professions before the community heroes visit your class. This is a great opportunity to prepare your students for the visit, and encourage their participation in a question and answer session.

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From the Counselor:

The Great Kindness Challenge is one school week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible.

From the library:

*There will be no book check out this week, January 20-23.

*If you have the opportunity, please let your parents know that if their child will be purchasing a book from Vuthy Kuon, that the check needs to be made out to WRES. I accidently forgot to put that on the purple form that you should have sent home last week.

*Please hold onto money and order forms for Vuthy Kuon that are brought to school this week and bring them with you at your scheduled time on Thursday. Vuthy will have a table set up afterwards to sell and autograph books.

Author & illustrator, Vuthy Kuon, will be visiting on Thursday, January 22. He will be presenting in the auditorium. The schedule listed below is the time that Vuthy Kuon will begin presenting, so please have your students seated by then.

Author Schedule

8:45-9:30 2nd

10:00-10:45 Kindergarten & 1st

11:15-12:00 4th

1:15-2:00 3rd

***2:10-2:25 Author Visit to classroom with highest book sales!!!

*Remember the class with the most book sales will win a FREE 15 minute classroom visit which includes a fun art lesson & a funny drawing of their teacher.

* You are welcome to come and shop the book fair as a class or by sending down individual shoppers. Please verify that they have at least 54 cents!!!

*Everyone that works in the building gets a $5 credit to spend. Please tell the person at the register that you would like your $5 credit applied. This offer must be redeemed no later than Friday at 12:30.

From the Assistant Principal:

January 26th – February 13th - Online video training for New Raters: TELPAS

New Raters, as mentioned in the staff meeting on Thursday, January 15th, new raters need to view the online training video within this window. Please use the handout given to you at the training to guide you. Please feel free to speak to Clarice, Araceli or I for clarifying questions.


Teachers, continue to monitor attendance. Please make contact home with students you are concerned about and document appropriately in AWARE. I’ve sent attendance/truancy letters home to some families. Veronica and I are closely monitoring attendance.


Please be familiar with the AESOP system. We’ve been in situations in which, Amy, Veronica and I receive text messages saying that a teacher is ill and the absence was not entered into the system. We cannot continue to pull Clarice nor Courtney and Elizabeth. If you need a refresher course, please see Veronica Rivera and she can train you and provide you with an AESOP handout.

CoCurr Great Expectations behavior sheets

Teachers, CoCurr teachers, Janie and I have worked collaboratively to update the Fine Arts-PE behavior reports. We’ve amended the reports to focus on the language used in Great Expectations. In order to be a true PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) campus, students will have the opportunity to earn back positive behavior (If Charlie decides that he can’t turn it around during the first 10 minutes of instruction, and then has 50 minutes a great behaviors, he will not receive a Mark for making poor choices). Expect to see these new charts during the second semester (January 26th is the start of the new semester, however, I am hoping you all don’t receive these new reports so soon J). Thank you CoCurr teachers for putting in the extra effort to create and re-create the Fine Arts-PE behavior reports.

From your Instructional Coach

This Week’s Guided Reading Frequently Asked Questions

Emergent Guided Reading A – C

Why do you teach the new sight word after the reading of the book and not before?

Teaching the new word comes after the reading of the book because the students have had the opportunity to see the word in context. Now that they have some familiarity with the word, it is appropriate to teach it in depth using the four steps: What’s Missing?, Mix & Fix, Table Writing, and Whiteboards. During the introduction you should write the new sight word on the whiteboard or simply say the word and have students locate it in the book. If a student forgets a sight word during reading, say the word for the student and ask her to point to it. Then have the student reread the sentence.

Detailed instructions to teach What’s Missing?, Mix & Fix, Table Writing, and Whiteboards is on pg. 90 in The Next Step to Guided Reading Book.

Early Guided Reading D – I

Should I attend to every error the student makes during the reading of the book?

Do not try to fix every mistake. This will only discourage the student and cause him or her to stop taking risks. Attend to one or two errors that are important for constructing meaning or that offer you the opportunity to prompt for a strategy. If you have selected an appropriate book for guided reading, the students will encounter challenges. As you listen to individual students read the book, you should record their errors and your teaching points on the back on the lesson plan. The teaching point should be a strategy the student can use on another book. In other words, don’t focus on getting the words right-instead, focus on teaching a problem-solving action. Your goal in guided reading is not reading is not reading 100% accuracy; it is using strategies. Think about the book as a vehicle that takes you to your destination. Your destination is helping the student become a more strategic reader, not reading the book with 100% accuracy.

Transitional Guided Reading J – P

How can I help students who have trouble with retelling?

Teach students how to softly Stop, Think, and Paraphrase (STP) on each page, even when you are not working with them. If students have trouble retelling after each page, tell them to use the picture as they STP. If they cannot retell using the picture, select an easier book. After students have read the whole book, help them retell the story by using the pictures in the book. Eventually, wean them from actually using the pictures by saying, “Think about the first picture in the book. What happened on that page?”

Detailed instruction about (STP) can be found on pg. 160 in The Next Step to Guided Reading Book.

Fluent Guided Reading Q – Z

Should the students write during the first reading or after they read?

Students should always write during the first reading because this will improve comprehension and provide you with a way to evaluate their understanding. It lets you know how you should scaffold. Having students write after they read an entire selection can also be beneficial as long as you have a purpose for the assignment. Guided writing is completed after the students read the text to provide writing support and to extend comprehension.

Happy Birthday!

January 19th - Happy Birthday, Tina May!

January 21st - Happy Birthday, Jennifer John